In the last several years, Android has become more popular. For a while, Android was just available on smartphones; today it can be used on TVs, wearable devices (now named Wear OS), and even in automobiles!
Android Auto has been around for a while now, but only lately, it got a huge boost – it now allows wireless networking for Android devices.
How big of an improvement is Android Auto Wireless? Is an in-car entertainment system like the Kenwood Excelon DMX905S worth the investment? With the help of our testers, we found out for ourselves.
A big advantage of Android Auto is that it doesn’t need a lot of configuration. Why? Instead of having its own data, the software is more like a shell over your phone.
A user-friendly interface uploads all of your phone’s contact information, music preferences, and other information directly from the phone.
You’ll need to download the Android Auto app on your phone in order to use it. Then there are a few prerequisites for Android Auto Wireless to work.
In order to use Android Auto Wireless, you’ll need a compatible phone, and the list of compatible phones is restricted to Pixel and newer Nexus smartphones, so if you don’t have one of those phones, you can’t use it.
Your phone must be connected to the vehicle through a USB cord at this point. As a charging port, it is not sufficient. Connecting your phone to Android Auto over Wi-Fi may also be possible if you have a suitable phone and automobile.
When you start your vehicle, the app should activate and connect immediately.
Android Auto may open instantly when you plug in your phone or connect wirelessly, or you may have to activate it from your car’s infotainment system after plugging in your phone or after it connects.
It’s possible that Android Auto may take a few seconds to open when you power on your vehicle, depending on the model of your phone. The first-generation Google Pixel XL on Android P beta often takes 5-10 seconds to start, however, it might be because the phone itself has slowed down lately and is running a beta version of Android.
Because it’s meant to be used while driving, Google has made Android Auto as easy as possible, and it is.
It has five displays, although you may only need two or three of them throughout the course of using the programme. On the top page, you’ll see items like recently played music and podcasts, as well as a list of places you can easily go to using Google Maps.
You may just tap on one of these cards to go to the relevant display. You can rapidly access Google Maps by hitting the bottom left icon on the menu bar, for example, if you touch on a navigational card.
Your phone app may be found to the right of this. then an audio control display, and lastly a final tab that simply said: “Return to Kenwood Home” to us (we tested Android Auto on the Kenwood Excelon DMX905S).
Generally speaking, it’s a well-designed and easy-to-use interface. Because the icons are large and the text is simple to see, you’ll be able to keep your attention focused on the road.
You’ll have to get accustomed to shifting your eyes around a bit more to view the maps, but some people may prefer to utilise voice navigation instead of an on-dash phone mount.
It seems that Google needs to address several concerns. In the beginning of this review, the Google Podcasts app was released, but even though I used it often, it didn’t appear on the home screen.
Although we were obviously listening to Google Podcasts and had playback options available on our phone, half-played podcasts from Google Play Music appeared instead.
Thanks to voice commands or directly on your phone, you were able to access podcasts. As a Google product, we believe Android Auto functionality should have been included from the start.
There are a few applications that work with Android Auto, but there aren’t many of them. Spotify and Waze are among the most popular.
You may also use your voice to respond to messages in Facebook Messenger on your Android Auto device by tapping on a notice.
In certain cases, when we used Google Assistant to dial a phone number via Android Auto, it appeared to shut Android Auto and utilise the car’s infotainment system instead.
As a result, whenever we got off the phone, we had to restart Android Auto from scratch. We saw this just using voice commands; we were able to manually contact someone using the Android Auto phone app by going to the dialer. It’s a strange bug, and we don’t know why it’s present.
You may communicate with Android Auto mostly using voice commands, and it’s typically simple to do so.
You can ask for directions, make phone calls, and more via Google Assistant, which takes centre stage here.
So this isn’t a lengthy review of Google Assistant, so just know that it works just fine on Android Auto.
Those familiar with the service will know what to anticipate.
Incorporation of a car into the overall
There are several ways in which Android Auto may improve your driving experience, and some of them are really useful.
The first thing we like about Android Auto is that it doesn’t allow you to enter Google Maps without the parking brake on, which we think is a good thing. The obvious explanation is that if you’re driving, you should be utilising your voice instead of typing on a screen.
The headlights are another example of this connection. Google Maps’ dark mode will be engaged when your headlights are on, as it would be on your phone if there was not enough light.
This was something we loved and didn’t like at various points. For example, you may switch on your lights when it’s misty rather than when it’s dark. We noticed that dark mode didn’t make sense in that case since there was plenty of light outdoors.
You can use Android Auto features in your vehicle without having to take your phone out of your holder while you’re on the road.
Overall, it’s straightforward to use and install, and the UI and Google Assistant are both well-designed and well-developed.
Android Auto isn’t ideal; more app support would be good, and Google’s own applications should have supported it, and there are definitely some flaws that need to be ironed out. Android Auto, on the other hand, is designed to make your in-car entertainment experience a lot more convenient and efficient.